Blu-ray Players

Panasonic DMP-BDT210 3D Blu-ray Player


Design and Setup of the Panasonic DMP-BDT210 3D Blu-ray Player

A quick look at the 210 reveals something that most of us haven’t seen before: a Blu-ray player with no component outputs. Now that component is limited to 480p there really isn’t much reason to include them, and it saves on both space and costs for the player. The rest of the back panel is pretty normal with HDMI, Ethernet, optical digital audio, composite and stereo audio jacks, and a USB jack. What is unique about the USB port in this case is that it can be paired with a compatible camera to work with Skype for teleconferencing on your home theater screen. Though I didn’t get a chance to try this out, the grandparents would have loved this feature when we had a baby a couple years ago.

All of the controls for the 210 are hidden behind a drop down front panel, with the exception of power and eject buttons that are placed on the corners on top of the unit. This keeps the buttons nicely out-of-sight, but still easily accessible for use. Additionally the top of the unit features a touch free sensor to open and close of the disc drawer. This sensor can be disabled in the system menu, as in certain environments it can be more annoying than helpful.

One nice feature that you can’t see, but I have to mention, is the dual band wireless that supports for 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies, as well as 20 and 40 MHz bandwidth for those. If you have a recent router you can likely get better speeds with the Panasonic than you can with other players, which is potentially important for streaming content from the internet or your local network.

Setup of Blu-ray players is nice and simple now with HDMI being the only interface you can use. The hardest part of setting up any Blu-ray player now is entering my wireless security key with a remote, though going with Ethernet gets around that hassle. In the settings menu you will find support for all colorspaces (4:2:2, 4:4:4, RGB Standard and RGB Enhanced) though unfortunately no Source Direct mode is available. We will see how these colorspaces performed later in the Bench Test section.

Since Blu-ray players now serve the dual role of content server for online and local media, the 210 handles this task with its VieraCast menu. VieraCast includes all of the necessary online streaming services, with Hulu Plus, Netflix, Vudu, Amazon, YouTube, and more. The 210 remote even features a dedicated Netflix button to take you straight there.